Death penalty deal infuriates former AG

Former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein says capital punishment 'not ethical,' calls on current AG to threaten to resign in protest.

Ido Ben-Porat,

Former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein
Former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein
Dudi Vaknin/POOL/Flash 90

Former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has roundly condemned the reported agreement between the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu parties, to include provisions for implementing the death penalty for terrorists as part of a coalition deal.

Under the agreement, a new directive will be issued to military courts, by which only a simply majority of two judges will be needed to sentence a terrorist murderer to death, as opposed to the unanimous requirement currently in place.

Imposing a death penalty for terrorist killers was one of the key conditions set by Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman for entering the governing coalition.

While the death penalty technically exists under Israeli law, it has only ever been implement once - the hanging of Nazi leader and "Final Solution" architect Adolf Eichmann.

Weinstein reacted furiously to the reported deal, telling the left-wing Haaretz paper that current Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit should veto the move, or threaten to resign.

"I said that I would not (agree to be) appointed as Attorney General if there will be a death penalty here," Weinstein said. "I think that this is without a doubt the appropriate position (to take), and I think that Mandelblit also needs to vigorously oppose this ruling."

Explaining his objection to capital punishment, Weinstein noted that Israel would be bucking a global trend by which capital punishment was gradually being rejected by some states.

"This has no parallel in the world," he said. "There is no country which adds the death penalty to its laws - there are only those who removed it."

He also claimed it would serve no purpose, since jihadists who glorify "martyrdom" wouldn't be deterred by capital punishment.

"It is not practical as a deterrent - since these criminals acts in any case from an ideological motivation, and do not worry about death - and moreover it is unethical," Weinstein asserted.
 




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